… Regardless of how it is funded, administration officials, led by Eric D. Weiss, the director of building standards and safety, argued that there is an immediate need to demolish the building.
The 41/2-story, shuttered textile factory was gutted in an April 19 blaze that took city firefighters two days to extinguish. The fire was determined to be an arson.
The building's owner, Skyline Industries of Brooklyn, N.Y., has mostly ignored a raze or repair order that was sent registered mail, Weiss said. Skyline did have the building's boiler removed and sold through a local contractor, he said.
''They're picking the carcass clean rather than taking their responsibility,'' Weiss told council's Community and Economic Development Committee.
''I don't feel good about this. I feel like I'm asking for the last $400,000 in the budget. But it's a dangerous situation. Someone will be killed.''
The building sits at the edge of a residential neighborhood and is less than four blocks from Jefferson Elementary School, making it an attractive ''playground'' for children, Weiss said. A temporary fence erected around the decrepit hulk has been broken through several times.
Adding to the urgency, Weiss said, is the impending summer vacation for Allentown schoolchildren.…